Perpetration of Physical Assault Against Dating Partners, Peers, and Siblings Among a Locally Representative Sample of High School Students in Boston, Massachusetts | Adolescent Medicine | JAMA Pediatrics | JAMA Network
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Article
Journal Club
December 6, 2010

Perpetration of Physical Assault Against Dating Partners, Peers, and Siblings Among a Locally Representative Sample of High School Students in Boston, Massachusetts

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Community Health Services, Boston University School of Public Health (Drs Rothman, Johnson, and Weinberg), and Harvard School of Public Health (Dr Azrael), Boston, Massachusetts; and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia (Dr Hall).

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010;164(12):1118-1124. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.229
Abstract

Objectives  To assess the co-occurrence of past-month physical assault of a dating partner and violence against peers and siblings among a locally representative sample of high school students and to explore correlates of dating violence (DV) perpetration.

Design  Cross-sectional survey design.

Setting  Twenty-two public high schools in Boston, Massachusetts.

Participants  A sample of urban high school students (n = 1398) who participated in the Boston Youth Survey, implemented January through April of 2008.

Main Outcomes Measures  Self-reported physical DV in the month before the survey, defined as pushing, shoving, slapping, hitting, punching, kicking, or choking a dating partner 1 or more times.

Results  Among the respondents, 18.7%, 41.2%, and 31.2% of students reported past-month perpetration of physical DV, peer violence, and sibling violence, respectively. Among violence perpetrators, the perpetration of DV only was rare (7.9%). Controlling for age and school, the association between sibling violence and DV was strong for boys (adjusted prevalence ratio, 3.81; 95% confidence interval, 2.07-6.99) and for girls (1.83; 1.44-2.31), and the association between peer violence and DV perpetration was strong for boys (5.13; 3.15-8.35) and for girls (2.57; 1.87-3.52). Dating violence perpetration was also associated with substance use, knife carrying, delinquency, and exposure to community violence.

Conclusions  Adolescents who perpetrated physical DV were also likely to have perpetrated peer and/or sibling violence. Dating violence is likely one of many co-occurring adolescent problem behaviors, including sibling and peer violence perpetration, substance use, weapon carrying, and academic problems.

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